Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yea, it's a rainy day! Hoping we get more than a  1/8" which is what we had last week while the rest of the valley had sheets of rain. Am done with the census, sigh. It was $, definitely, but I find I am unable to focus on too many things at once. So with the taking care of the lovebirds, the house, and the census, I haven't been able to do much in the clay :( In fact, nothing.

I was able to get the photo taking thing nailed down, so that was a huge accomplishment for me. I find I now have a scratch on my camera lens, which really stinks, but am trying to work around it. Am planning to do a post to help others take better photos, well, to offer what I've done lol Am far from an expert but maybe it will help someone. It will be a couple of weeks in the coming though.

But the census is done now and I can focus, which is good because the Dog Days of Summer is coming up in 2 weeks in Downtown Mesa. It's their biggest night of the year, for some reason folks will come out in the heat to bring their dogs out when they wouldn't otherwise? My dog would never crack it, he'd be overheated :( So he'll be at home, but I'll be there, hopefully with some new things!

Had an idea at the last 2nd Friday Night Out in Mesa for a series of bizarre pendants and was playing around with glass gems yesterday to make part of it. Pulled out my 3 color set of alcohol inks for the first time and I am in love. Thankyou to all those before me that have already tried all these things :) So here's a sampling of my new experiements. In the future I want to get some of Lisa Pavelka's UV curing gloss to use instead of the glass gems, but I think these turned out pretty cool. Of course now I need MORE colors of ink!

I awoke this morning to find Tonja Lenderman Of Tonja's Treasure's had featured me on her Blog! This is very exciting for me as I have been following this blog for a bit now and feel quite honored by this. For those of you that have followed her blog, you are missing out, she is always featuring new and exciting tools, supplies, and artists. I know I have much to learn and she helps! In addition to being a talented polymer clay artist she is also a great source for tutorials. Her work and tutorials can all be found in her Shop And don't forget to check her out on Facebook!

Planning a big clayday today...hopefully. Tomorrow I am thinking I'll be picking up some baby lovebirds from a friend who has to move and cannot take them all :( Speaking of which, I need to go take care of my own! Have a great day everyone and pray fro rain for me!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I am taking better photos!

After using dark backgrounds and unprofessional looking backgrounds, messing around with lights and figuring out how to diffuse light to prevent glare, I just might have this whole photo taking thing conquered!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What I Learned Last Week?

It's all about the photos, it's all about the photos, it's all about the photos. Sigh. Give me  a big yellout if you're on Etsy and still working on getting those fantastic pics that really get you noticed. I thought I was taking nice pics, I wasn't. This has never been my area of any amount of expertise. I just sprouted a yellow orchid vine seed, something supposedly difficult to do, but I can't take good pics, sigh.

I think I've got it now though. No, really, I think so. I made some backgrounds to use instead of the denim I was trying, I had some feedback that it did not look very professional, and from that point of view, I'd have to agree, it did not. I was trying to brand myself and the denim was part of that.

So I have my backgrounds and am taking better pics, I think....waiting on my battery to recharge, argh!

Have been working the census so no new things to show off, I wish I did. It's hard to even think about being creative when you're so busy though. It won't last for too long though.

We are babysitting my step son's dog for 2 weeks while he's off playing Army for 2 weeks. it took a couple of days for the 2 dogs to settle in, but they're both pooped already and we're only a couple days in :o) I almost had to tell my step son that I killed his dog after he went after my cat 2 nights ago, that wouldn't have gone over so great, luckily Peso is fine and so is the dog.

What did I learn besides some photography stuff? I dunno, I feel really scattered right now. I apparently learned how to sprout yellow orchid vine seeds lol Um, yeah, not thinking of anything else. That's been my existence for the last week. Daily chores, pool time (AZ in summer, it's a must),  and census. Goal this week, photos! Then edit my Etsy shop, that is not going to be fun.

The photo is from a group of pics I took last week, some were good, some were bad, this one's Ok I think?

Have a great week!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rory is at it again!

Link Partiers......add up to 3 items you are selling on this Link Party From Tools Are For Women Too, Don't forget to follow and promote!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What I learned Last Week

OK, so the premise behind doing this post weekly was that surely I WOULD learn something new.....and I have no doubt I did, but last week was a blurr. I have done some Link Love already but started doing a couple of Link Parties last week and along the way met up with some very generous folks. Runway Crochet, who was very generous when I posted about a link party on her FB page, it was brazen of me and she was so great, thank you! She is very busy on FB and has been very active with Link Love for those of you not familiar with her. So please go check out her work!

And what was I posting so brazenly on another's FB page? A Link Party of course! Not your ordinary link party though, a brand new concept of it. Normally you wouldn't be allowed to post and link to items you are selling in a link party, but this one is specifically for your Etsy items! And it was it's virgin outing, too. This comes from Rory at Tools Are For Women Too and I understand it has been a success and will be continued weekly. You can link up to 3 items you are selling but you also have to promote it as well, so some of you may have seen it on my blog the day it started. I believe it was running thru til today so you can still get in on this week's if you like.

Obviously this was a self promotion week! I discovered kaboodle and stumbleupon, keen resources for anyone selling on Etsy, glad I discovered it fairly early. And I'm pretty steeped that I can't add items to Google shopping.

I really, really, really, meant to get outside and cleanup a strip of the yard by the street but didn't, too hot. Separated out some lovebirds that I thought were female now I think I was wrong, argh. Made spreadsheet of items I've made along with ones that have sold, for how much, and where. And did another 4 hour street show friday night. It wasn't great but I had several repeat customers which was so cool and I had several folks who were in a hurry ask if I would be back. I wasn't planning got do more of these til it cooled down but now I think it will be a good idea so I think it will. And I think being there for these will give me a priority for the organizer come cooler weather, and that will be good to have!

I'm trying to remember where the rest of the week went and it's just not there. it's like when you're driving some where and you get there, but can't recall HOW you got there? Only not so scary lol

So many things to do so little time! This week I need to make a lot of cool things, well, in the next 4 weeks I guess, but my inventory is woefully lacking at the moment and I need add more to the Etsy shop, too. I'm planning to sponsor my first giveaway on Rory's blog and I am making something new for that as well. On top of that I am working the census starting yesterday! Money is money if you know what I mean :) My time management has been getting better of late but it will be getting tested! I also need to get on the ball with some things to do with the lovebirds and help dear hubby with some of his stuff, sigh.

Oh, and I'm following 4 local polymer clay artists' blogs this week!

They belong to the Arizona Polymer Clay Guild which I cannot wait to join when I have the time, sounds like a lot of fun.

And now for a gratuitous photo, how about lovebirds this time? I wasn't planning on handraising babies for awhile but little fella got kicked out of the nest by a nervous mum, there were 2 others but I didn't get to them in time :( Pardon the poop! that's a shoulder activity pad in the background.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Link Party For Etsy Items?

That's right, there's a Link Party where you can link to 3 items in your Etsy Store and this is the first time for it. Since I'm the one showing you this, please take a second and look at MY ETSY Shop? I'm just starting out, brand new, it'll only take a sec, you may have friends who need what I'm making :o) Thankyou! Don't forget to Fan, Follow, and in general, Link Back.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wire Pendant Hanger for Polymer Clay, here's how I make mine!

I am by far not a savvy wire wrapper but I get by with what I need to do and you can, too, because these are so simple. You need wire of course, I usually use artistic wire, about 20ga. You'll also need wire cutters, something round to get the shape you want- I use a paint brush handle, it gets me about a 3/8" hole and I like that just fine. I also use a pair of needlenose pliers and a pair of plastic tipped pliers.

Cut off a piece of wire, 4" is plenty. Hold it up to your paintbrush handle (or whatever you're using!) at about the 1" mark and wrap it all the way around. Take it off and using your needle nose pliers to help make a square bend, bend each end straight up away from the loop you just made.

Now I take my plastic tipped pliers and hold the loop securely. Now take the long end of your wire and wrap it around the short end, tightly at first because what's close to the loop will show. Trim the ends. Now take a tiny point and poke a whole in the top of your polymer clay. I add a drop or two of liquid clay at that spot and when I push the hanger in it'll take some of that with it. Make sure you have your orientation right before pushing the hanger in and don't forget to consider the weight of the piece and how it will naturally want to hang! Push it in carefully so it goes in straight, once it's in you can put another drop of liquid clay around the entry point, too. Viola, bake and finish!

I try not to think about it too much, and I know I get better with more practice. That's how it works, right?

Hopefully the photo helps!
Who's doing linking parties? I am! So I'll be linking back to those from here, take a minute and check them out!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Help Beads of Courage

Beads of Courage is a program that helps children dealing with life threatening illnesses mark their journey, the beads symbolizing the many challenges they have to overcome. They are hoping for a $25k grant from Pepsi and we can help!

Go here now and VOTE, vote everyday, and share it with your friends.

I learned about this from this Art Bead Scene Blog Post

Monday, July 5, 2010

Things I learned last week!

I like this idea of a blog post, I think I'll try and do this weekly....assuming I learn something new every week, that is.

Last week was a busy one. Had my second time out selling on Friday and Saturday evenings for 4 hours each. It was a pain in the butt as I had to set up and take down both days but we are pros at that now so that is something. The event had a lot of activities and other types of vendors so unfortunately sales were terrible, hopefully I got some good word of mouth activity though from visitors and the sales I did get. So I spent all week working on things for that.

Am doing it again this Friday night, but this is like my first time out, mostly just arts and crafts vendors, hopefully the weather will be nice. And since I didn't sell very many item over the weekend, I don't have to work so hard making new thigns for this Friday...although I do need to make more things, have to get things in the Etsy shop, of course I need to take some nice pics for that. And I have a friend who will let me put a display of items in their restaurant, so need more items made definitely.

So, things I learned this week?

While I knew hand fed female lovebirds were not good mothers, I now realize they are also not comfortable in an aviary/cummunity environment, sigh.

When all the bowls are empty and you go to use a mixing bowl for your ice can be difficult to tell HOW MUCH you are putting in it :o)

I learned that when I start to look for fairs to sell at and I am actually paying a modest booth fee, I will be choosy and look for events that are geared more towards the art vendors

I learned my research was dead on for buying a canopy, I saw someone putting up a Quik Shade only to break it before even getting it up and I saw someone with a First Up who had to take the top off before folding it up. I got my Ez-up at Sam's club and while I would have liked to pay less for it we do believe it was worth it. Was $200 and came with all 4 sides and an awning, also has plates to put on feet to put your weights on. Was super easy to put up and instructions were great. We also got a First up screen surround for it although we didn't use it, but it fits and was cheap, I think $30 and I know it'll be useful.

And I learned my pasta machine thingy had a ton of clay accumulated in spots! Argh.

Thanks for reading. Here's a couple pics of my darling pooch Boozer. He was a pound puppy, found as a stray at 4 months and he's our favorite toy. Love that dog! The one on the left is from right after we got him obviously, that cute spot on his nose disappeared :( or, well, it's inside his nose now I think lol

Oh, Had to come back and add one more thing! The winners for the drawings for pendants at my booth were Cindy Selogie and Cynthia Mercier! Congratulations to both of you!

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New things, and just in time, too!

Not only is the 2 day street fair starting tomorrow but my inspiration is lost! Time to recharge, seriously. Do you ever reach that point whereby you wonder that you ever created anything to begin with? I sure do and I did today, could not be happier to take a break from the clay, what perfect timing. For those that might be at the street fair this weekend, I have 4 new steampunk dragonfly pendants! And they are cool, or I think they are anyways.

I made some stuff that I think is so cool, but these pics I took VERY quickly and I don't think they look their best but here they are, what do you think?
So, Phoenix valley residents, come out and show your spirit this weekend in downtown Mesa! ...and stop by my booth of course ;) Bring your water!